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Slim Pickins' Journal

Tell us what your doing from day to day. Post your daily notes here.

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Slim Pickins
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Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Saturday, 01 May 2010, 9:19 AM

Well I finally broke down and decided to swap my truck antenna. I went from a Lil Will to a Predator 10K. Thought I would document the swap with some pics.
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Here is the old Lil Will
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Drilling the 10" saw blade backing plate
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Oh my, drilling a hole in the roof of my truck
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Inside of roof with paint removed
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Sawblade drilled and shield screw installed
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Coax connectors
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Mounting stud installed
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New 10 ga wire installed to + and - of battery

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Wire running up the windshield pillar to where radio will be. Ford recommends twisting the power and ground to reduce RF noise.

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Truck back outside with the antenna mounted
73,Slim

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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Saturday, 01 May 2010, 9:25 AM

Well, I took a test drive to see how the antenna would flex the roof and it moved a little but I was worried that over time it would stress the roof metal. So...
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I cut a couple of pieces of 3/8 plywood and sprung them between the outside framework of the roof so that they were tight to the sheet metal. They kinda act like ribs in a wooden boat and cant bend down without moving outward on the ends. When I got them just right I secured them in place with construction adhesive suitable for a multitude of surfaces. Now the roof doesn't flex a bit.
73,Slim

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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by bigjames » Saturday, 01 May 2010, 11:14 AM

Thats a pretty big step up from a Little Will.


Looks good!

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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Saturday, 01 May 2010, 12:48 PM

bigjames wrote:Thats a pretty big step up from a Little Will.


Looks good!
Thanks Bigjames

I know it is quite an upgrade but I figured I might as well start where I was wanting to end. Also with the stud mount I can swap to any antenna I want with the 3/8 thread.
73,Slim

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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Saturday, 01 May 2010, 12:55 PM

I figured that since I had the roof liner out it would be a good opportunity to install some roof clearance lights.
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73,Slim

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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Sunday, 09 May 2010, 18:13 PM

Finally got the headliner back in and interior back together. Decided to install the TRC-448 I had for a little while now. Getting great reports with it and the 10K.

Here's the 448
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73s
Paul
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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Thursday, 13 May 2010, 17:48 PM

Finally got tired of having a broken ground plane antenna and not being able to get out like I should be able to so I decided to fix the broken bottom section of my .64's vertical element.
Thought I'd include some pics for anyone interested.

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here's my busted ground plane antenna as it sat on the mast on my garage

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The broken section

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Fuel (high octane 5%)

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Pipe to repair the broken section

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Pipe fitted into the bottom section

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Top part of broken section fitted over pipe

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All riveted together

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Bottom section all together and standing vertical again

Now I just got to get something to seal the joint with and put the rest of the antenna back together and get it back up on the mast.

I know that there is a chance that this repair technique will add extra stress on the rest of the antenna, but, I think it is better than not having the antenna at all.
73,Slim

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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Shaft » Thursday, 13 May 2010, 22:49 PM

Looks good slim. I might try the ribs in my roof.
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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Friday, 14 May 2010, 2:28 AM

Thanks Shaft, and the ribs really do take a lot of the flex out. The shaft on my 10k doesn't even move on rough ground anymore.

73s
Paul
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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Shaft » Friday, 14 May 2010, 2:38 AM

Mine doesn't flex too much since I have a crew cab and it has a ribbed roof. But it can't hurt to brace it more.
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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Sunday, 16 May 2010, 8:55 AM

Finally got my ground plane antenna back up yesterday. It is a Hustler 27TD and dates from the late 70's. SWR around 1.4 across the band. Not as good as it used to be but still respectable.
Anyway here she is.
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and another
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I am so glad to have this antenna back up. It has fantastic ears, and I can get out pretty good on it.

73s and thanks for looking
Paul
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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by weedge » Thursday, 20 May 2010, 15:23 PM

Hello Slim.
Hey that 448 looks good in the truck. Do you have much static with it mobile. I had mine in my truck for a while and I had so much static I finally took it out. It could be my antenna. I'm back working now so I'm looking at antennas. Your set up looks great. Hope to catch you some time when the skip is in.

Weedge

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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Thursday, 20 May 2010, 16:19 PM

I don't find I get a lot of static on my 448 in the truck. Most times I leave the squelch turned all the way off and there is very little or no noise. I do live outside the city and that does help. The only noise I have noticed that occurs regularly is whenever I push in the clutch there is a very slight whine like from an alternator. My alt is grounded with #2 welding cable so I think that helps keep it to a minimum. The only complaint I have is the recieve audio is a little high pitched but the tech who tuned the 448 up for me said to put a 33uF non-polarized cap across the speaker terminals to help with that.

73s
Paul
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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Sunday, 23 May 2010, 12:29 PM

Got my "new" mic for my Spitfire base unit and got it all wired up. Getting great reports on the air with it.
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you can see the mic here. Pardon the rest of the mess. This is only my temporary setup. Can't wait till I get a chance to get working on my permanent shack.
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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Thursday, 01 July 2010, 12:51 PM

Well, I finally got sick and tired of having to wiggle the mic connector on my TRC-448 to make it work. So I removed the factory 5 Pin DIN type socket from the radio and installed a new 4 Pin Cobra type plug. Other than having to remove a couple of switches to get to the plug it went pretty smooth. Pluged in the D104M6 I had on my old Cobra and it sounds great. I might just do this to the rest of my Realistics. Then I could just use any Cobra mic with all my radios.

Paul
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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Friday, 02 July 2010, 10:42 AM

I have been wanting to install red LED meter lights in my TRC-448 for a while now, so, I decided to do it this afternoon.
Here ara a couple pics
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Image

Thanks for looking.

73s
Paul
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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by 443 Arizona » Saturday, 17 July 2010, 18:26 PM

hey paul, looks like a good installation but what about hitting any branches or something? i guess i can understand the risk as i once ran big ear too. lately i have been thinking of finding a magmount wilson,, so tell me, how much difference are you noticing?

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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Sunday, 18 July 2010, 3:27 AM

443 Arizona wrote:hey paul, looks like a good installation but what about hitting any branches or something? i guess i can understand the risk as i once ran big ear too. lately i have been thinking of finding a magmount wilson,, so tell me, how much difference are you noticing?
I don't hit a lot of branches. The top of the antenna is just under 13' from the ground when parked. I find a huge difference over the Lil Will but that really isn't a fair comparison since the 10k is more than twice as long.

Paul
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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Saturday, 14 August 2010, 15:49 PM

I have never really been satisfied with the mounting of my current radio in my truck so I have decided it is time to fix it.
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Here is the current install. I had to put the radio overhead because there is no room anywhere else. Trouble is the overhead info center keeps the radio down too low. After much thinking about how I would rebuild the console to house the radio higher and look stock, I decided to go for a more custom look. I am going to pull out the console and replace it with a piece of aluminum checker plate with a custom mounting bracket that turns the radio slightly toward the driver and keeps it sitting level. Should also have room for the small amp I just got to sit up there as well. I started work on it today and will post pics as it progresses.

73s
Paul
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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Sunday, 15 August 2010, 4:23 AM

OK, here is what I got done last night.
Here is where the radio and the info center/console used to be
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My aluminum checker plate that I got from a local welding shop for a 12 pack
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I traced out the old console on a piece of flexible plastic like the stuff they use on real estate signs and then transfered it to the plate. I cut it out with the jigsaw using a hacksaw blade and filed the edges smooth. Had to bend it a couple of times to fit the headliner so I heated it with my propane torch and bent it while the plate was clamped to my workbench.
Image

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Today I have to install the plate then work on fabbing the bracket to fit the angles of the roof and still keep the radio level

Thanks for looking
73,Slim

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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Sunday, 15 August 2010, 8:20 AM

The piece of checker plate installed to the roof
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I cut out the bracket and filed it smooth. Here it is installed on the checker plate
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Plate with radio bracket back in the truck
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Radio back in and hooked up
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Now, when my new amp arrives I can mount it in front of the radio on the plate and I will need to drill a few holes for coax and power wires and everything will be nice and neat and within reach. I couldn't get the radio on an angle without interfering with the sun visors, but, it is far enough ahead now that it can be easily seen. I am very happy with this install so far, can't wait to get the amp in and see how it all works together.

73s
Paul
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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by yMidnite » Sunday, 15 August 2010, 11:02 AM

Looks great. I hope my final install looks that good.
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Joe "Hawk" Sajczuk 6/22/42 - 3/15/90 - My Dad



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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Sunday, 15 August 2010, 14:29 PM

yMidnite wrote:Looks great. I hope my final install looks that good.
Thanks. It was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. Still have a little work to do and I will continue to post progress for anyone interested.

73s
Paul
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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by weedge » Monday, 16 August 2010, 5:12 AM

Hello Paul

Man that install looks great! Would love to see the finished pics after you get your amp installed.

Weedge

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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Monday, 16 August 2010, 13:12 PM

weedge wrote:Hello Paul

Man that install looks great! Would love to see the finished pics after you get your amp installed.

Weedge
Thanks. I will definately be posting here. Hopefully next weekend.

73s
Paul
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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Thursday, 19 August 2010, 13:38 PM

Just picked op my new amp from the Post Office. Barring any unforseen circumstances I will be installing it this weekend.

Here's a pic of the amp
Image
I can't wait till I get everything hooked up.

73s
Paul
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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by yMidnite » Thursday, 19 August 2010, 13:53 PM

Mine looks just like that. Hope to have mine hooked up this weekend too. Working on a custom pedistal mount for the radio and amp.
Midnight Rider / 989 N FL
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Joe "Hawk" Sajczuk 6/22/42 - 3/15/90 - My Dad



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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Thursday, 19 August 2010, 13:55 PM

yMidnite wrote:Mine looks just like that. Hope to have mine hooked up this weekend too. Working on a custom pedistal mount for the radio and amp.
I read your other post about being pre-jumpered. So is mine. Almost like they want you to use them on 11m
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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Saturday, 21 August 2010, 11:56 AM

Got up this morning and couldn't wait to get to work and finish my install.

Here is the mount with the amp installed on the bench
Image
I used stainless steel screws drilled through the bottom of the amp and the mounting plate with nuts on the back side
Image
Here it is all installed and back in the truck with everything hooked up
Image
I didn't check the power output of the amp yet but I turned down the radio to 2w DK swinging to 7.5w and 15w on ssb. Everything seems to work really well, although I did have to back down the D104 a notch on am due to feedback. After that everything was good on all power levels according to my radio check who is one of the local regulars.
I am very happy with how this turned out.

73s and thanks for looking
Paul
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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by yMidnite » Saturday, 21 August 2010, 16:32 PM

Very nice install. Can't wait to finish mine. :biggrin:
Midnight Rider / 989 N FL
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Joe "Hawk" Sajczuk 6/22/42 - 3/15/90 - My Dad



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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Saturday, 21 August 2010, 21:18 PM

yMidnite wrote:Very nice install. Can't wait to finish mine. :biggrin:
Thanks, like I say I am very happy with it. Be sure to post pics when you get yours done. Would like to see that custom pedestal mount.
73,Slim

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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by yMidnite » Sunday, 22 August 2010, 2:36 AM

Slim Pickins wrote:
yMidnite wrote:Very nice install. Can't wait to finish mine. :biggrin:
Thanks, like I say I am very happy with it. Be sure to post pics when you get yours done. Would like to see that custom pedestal mount.
I will post pictures when I am done. Hopefully it turns out "right".
Midnight Rider / 989 N FL
"We preserve our freedoms using four boxes: soap, ballot, jury, and cartridge." -- Anonymous

In Memory Of:
Marek Sajczuk 1/7/05 - 6/18/05 - My Son
Joe "Hawk" Sajczuk 6/22/42 - 3/15/90 - My Dad



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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by weedge » Sunday, 22 August 2010, 8:54 AM

Hey Paul

That install looks great. Factory could'nt have done better. I'll be listening for 9672 when the skips rolling.

Weedge

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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Sunday, 22 August 2010, 10:55 AM

I puy the meters on the setup this afternoon and at full power on the amp I am showing 175 on am with the truck running and 150 with the truck off. SSB I am seeing 300 with the truck running about 225 with it off. SWR hardly changes at all with the amp on or off and stays around 1.1 across the band.
weedge wrote:Hey Paul

That install looks great. Factory could'nt have done better. I'll be listening for 9672 when the skips rolling.

Weedge
Keep listening. hopefully you will hear me now.

73s
Paul
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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Thursday, 09 September 2010, 16:56 PM

Took my antenna down last week because we were expecting hurricane Earl to hit us. I decided to make the mast a tilt up job to make things easier in the future. I will post construction notes when complete for anyone interested. It will be a trial and error affair so it may take some time.

Paul
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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by armrdsaint » Friday, 10 September 2010, 10:04 AM

Great set up and install slim !! My trucks got the metal liner type inside so I didn't use the saw blade style---Excellent job on Yours ! I need to kill some noise on mine so I'm gonna try You wire twist theory and see what happens. Thanks for sharing Your work I learned a lot !!!
AUDIOSSS from Nebraska
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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Friday, 10 September 2010, 13:02 PM

Thanks for looking and thanks for the compliments. The twisted wire idea is actually in the Ford owner's manual with regards to installing a cb/ham radio. I honestly can't tell you whether or not it works since I haven't ever tried this radio and antenna without it.

Paul
73,Slim

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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by armrdsaint » Friday, 10 September 2010, 18:23 PM

I'm willen to try anything to drop the noise level in my old rusty GMC. http://i993.photobucket.com/albums/af51 ... G_0047.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; so I appreciate the info--Hope to maybe hear You after I get the shack rollen slim. Have a great day and catch You later---Wavin a hand from Nebraska-AUDIOSSSS
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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Saturday, 13 November 2010, 13:07 PM

If anyone is wondering how to destroy a 30 year old aluminum groundplane antenna I have your answer. Long story short, drop it while lowering a tilt-up mast. :icon_e_sad:

73s
Paul
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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by 626 » Saturday, 13 November 2010, 13:53 PM

hey Slim...

Just wanted to say I enjoyed reading your chronicle. keep up the good work.

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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Saturday, 13 November 2010, 20:41 PM

Thanks **NON-SPONSOR**, I actually enjoy writing in this thread. I will continue when I have more to write. Now that my base antenna is pretty much a goner I am thinking about getting a tower and a beam and doing a "proper" base antenna system. I think I may have found a 40' free standing tower locally for a good price so that may be my starting point. Next I gotta figure out what to put up there for an antenna.

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Paul
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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by 626 » Saturday, 13 November 2010, 20:43 PM

40 foot is awesome. it will get you a full wave-length off of the ground. There are better beams for the money but, its tough to beat a maco 3 or 5 element

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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Sunday, 14 November 2010, 3:00 AM

I looked at the Maco 3,4 and 5 element beams but I am thinking I want to get a dual polarity unit instead. I was thinking pretty hard on a Maco Shooting Star, not sure if I can run the mast right through this and put an omni above it without affecting th Shooting Star too much. No big deal if I can't really, the few locals near me are all pretty close and I am sure I could get them off the side of the beam. Most of the local guys are all in the same general direction from me anyway so it probably wouldn't be a big deal if I had to try to pick a line through the middle of them.

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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by drdx » Sunday, 14 November 2010, 5:53 AM

Woo hoo, beam time, sounds like fun. But.....you won't be able to put an omni above a beam with vertial polarity without it making your vertical somewhat directional. You can do the vertical over a flat beam and be fine, the beam will act like a ground plane, but over a vertical beam it changes its behavior (the vertical's). You'd have to put your vertical on a different structer some distance away. If you can reach your locals fine on a vertical 40 feet up, do that, save your cash for a rotator and big beam and you'll love shooting skip that much more. Who knows, maybe you'll start a horizontal beam wave of popularity among the locals.

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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Sunday, 14 November 2010, 6:18 AM

All the locals I usually talk to are within about 8-10 miles of me and with the exception of one guy they are all in the same general direction. The one guy in the opposite direction from me is only about a mile away and half of that is water. With my old groundplane at 32' I was hammering these guys but the next group of guys somewhat close to me are just on the edge of my range. All these guys are running vertical omni antennas. Some use a little power, some don't. The reason I was kinda thinking on the dual polarity beam was so I could get a little better coverage than with the omni then be able to switch to horizontal for skip. The other option is to add a little more mast and put a flat beam with an omni at about 50'. Maybe the extra height will give me a little more range on the omni for local stuff, and like you suggest the difference in cost would allow for a larger flat beam. Decisions, decisions.

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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by drdx » Sunday, 14 November 2010, 7:21 AM

Hey, the guys at the edge of your range, are they all in one direction? For them, if you have the room, you could put up a simple fixed wire beam aimed in their direction that you could switch to for talking to them. This is all leading to something you may want to consider: a remote coax switch. Ameritron makes them, as does a few other companies. It will save you on coax and pay for itself if you end up with 2 or more antennas. You can then run 4 or more antennas on one piece of nice low loss coax. If skip is fun for you it sure is fun running a 4 or more element beam. I ran a 4 element at 40 feet for a few years and a 100w on sideband would get you just about anywhere you could hear. A kw on that 4 element and you're a real player on am in skipland. The only possible negative to a vertical beam as far as local stuff is when you're constantly moving it around, and that depends on what direction most folks are located.

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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by 626 » Sunday, 14 November 2010, 12:12 PM

One more thing.

Many people forget that vertical is not just for local talking. Often you can take better advantage of skip if you select your polarization. As far as your plan of getting a beam with vertical and horizontal element, It sounds great. I wouldnt worry about the locals. If you are local talking, then just use your radio barefoot or with just a driver.

As far a an omni, you can put that somewhere else and just use it for receive. When you hear CALI comin into your receive, then you know which way to turn your beam. Omnis are ideal to use for ears.

IMO a beam flatside and omni on top would be the best. Remember there is no antenna ideal for EVERY situation.

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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Sunday, 14 November 2010, 13:40 PM

Ok, I went today and picked up the tower. It is a 40' freestanding unit with a 22"base. Here are a few pics.

Image

Image

Image


The top section already has the rotor plate installed a short distance down from the top so now I need to get a mast and thrust bearing as well as the rotor. Once I figure out what I am going to use for an antenna I can make those choices and start working on that. There are a few small spots of surface rust so I will clean those up and paint them before I assemble everything.

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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by drdx » Sunday, 14 November 2010, 14:10 PM

That looks good, and the rotor shelf is a bonus. I don't know if they still sell them, but believe it or not Yaesu used to have a really good thrust bearing that wasn't all that expensive. Start hunting for a rotor. Since you're kinda out there you may get lucky and find something in the air or put a local want ad out there and someone may have one left over from the long distance tv antenna days. Try to get a ham 3 or larger if you can but there are several out there that would work. If you get a monster rotor and the antenna is a light one you could get by without the bearing but I'd do it right, and just start it out right. For other antenna ideas, check out slopers. The ARRL antenna book used to have great plans for a directional sloper array with no moving parts that you just switched for direction. It would be a great fit for you if you didn't want to go all big up top, but I'd scout out a monster flat beam, 7 elements or something huge and be done with it. Then, just loaf your gear as the antenna does all of the work.

-drdx
Yes it's me, Dollar-98, drdx, the original all *Censored*, shot cawla on workin this no-fade technology.

-drdx



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Re: Slim Pickins' Journal

Post by Slim Pickins » Sunday, 14 November 2010, 16:00 PM

Yeah, I was just looking at those Yaesu thrust bearings online earlier today. You are right about the price, they are $45 for the 2" and $65 for the 2 1/2". I think I will get one and put it in just to be on the safe side. I was also looking at the Yaesu rotors.
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Insanity is hereditary......you get it from your children.




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